4 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick in College
I know the feeling of utter hopelessness when you feel a cold (or worse, the flu!) coming on. With sneezes, doziness, body aches, upset stomachs, or headaches, all you want to do is stay in bed, sleep, and feel stressed as you fall behind on class work.
Check out these four easy steps to prevent the dorm sniffles from affecting you!
1. Eat well, feel well.
These are words I LIVE by. The immune system is the only thing that will save you during times of the campus-wide plague, and it hinges on the foods you consume. Eating right strengthens your immune system while fighting off illness naturally. Stock up on healthy fruits and veggies, and skip the fast food and junk food to keep your immune system strong.
TIP: An acronym I like to keep in mind as I consume is FLOSN. This stands for Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal, Non-GMO. Not only will this acronym guide you towards a healthy, conscious lifestyle, this practice of consumption is sustainable for the environment.
2. Stay hydrated.
We all know we need water to stay hydrated, but your body needs water to fight off illnesses. Drinking too much coffee, juice, and especially sugary soda will dehydrate you and, thus, weaken your body's illness-fighting abilities.
Drinking lots of water also keeps mucous membranes of the nose and throat soft, which, in turn, fights off viruses from forming in the tiny cracks that appear. This protects the respiratory tract from germs, viruses, and bacteria. Hydrating the body also helps your natural drainage system properly function, as it flushes out viruses.
TIP: Be sure to drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Decaf tea such as green tea or yerba mate (my personal favorite) is a great way to slip in your daily dose of water. Green tea also have antioxidants, which help boost your immune system. It’s a win-win!
3. No all-nighters… Sleep enough!
If you always seem to get sick right before a big test or paper is due, it's probably because you haven't been getting enough sleep. Your immune system needs rest, too, and one of the best ways to keep it strong is to make sure you're getting enough sleep. Studying is important, but pulling an all-nighter will do you no good if you're too run down and tired to focus on the material in front of you!
4. Wash your hands!
I mean really wash your hands, with soap and hot water. And, because I am crazy into the organic, green lifestyle, I bring my own soap because I know it is organic and made with essential oils that smell divine! This also gives me an incentive as I wash my hands every time with my favorite scent.
TIP: Be careful of shared appliances, such as water faucets, computers, or doorknobs that hundreds of students touch a day. Keep a hand santizizer with you to ward off germs. One of my favorite spray-on hand sanitizers is Dr. Bronner’s lavender hand sanitizer. Yes, don’t worry people, it is organic!
It's easy to become overwhelmed in college, but there are ways to keep stress from getting the best of you (and your immune system). By taking preventative measures (now that you have this wonderful list of easy steps), you can live a healthy, fun, thriving college experience illness-free.